Please note that this is my own personal blog and therefore the views and opinions expressed, although in no way intended to be controversial, are not necessarily those shared by my employers Abbotsbury Tourism Ltd. and Ilchester Estates . All photos are © Steve Groves unless otherwise credited.

Monday, 17 October 2011

(West) Indian Summer

It was rather quiet today with the return of typical blustery autumnal weather. The only new birds noted were 13 Brent Geese that settled on The Fleet briefly before heading off west. Although there was a slight passage of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, again all heading west, there was no visible passerine passage at all. Yesterday though (Sunday 16th October) was much better both bird wise and weather wise. There was some evidence of visible migration with a number of Swallows and House Martins (Steve Hales counted 230 and 60 respectively while tending his ringing nets in the afternoon) and a few Siskins,  Skylarks, Starlings and Pied Wagtails headed west with the highlight being a Redpoll and a few Bearded Tits, the latter heard but not seen. Yesterday was also WeBs count day (ie The Wetland Bird Survey). The only unexpected wetland bird though was this...

A White-cheeked Pintail (with Mallard)
White-cheeked Pintail or to give them there captive trade name...Bahama Pintail (as it is from captivity that this bird obviously originated) are native to the West Indies and much of South America and is one of the most frequent exotic escapes to occur at The Swannery. It wasn't around during the count (which is always in the morning) but dropped in during the afternoon. I leave the counting of the actual swannery to mate's Alan and Ian while I do the stretch of The Fleet immediately east of The Swannery, from Shipmoor Point to Rodden Hive Point.
A view from Cloudshill, in my count section, looking east toward Portland lost in the mist.
We didn't find anything exciting but the results of the count from The Swannery to Rodden Hive Point were...

Mute Swan 640
Black Swan 1
Canada Goose 18
Wigeon 108
Teal 318
Mallard 562
Domestic Mallard 14
Pintail 72
Shoveler 26
Pochard 194
Tufted Duck 215
Cormorant 20
Little Egret 3
Grey Heron 2
Little Grebe 16
Great Crested Grebe 29
Water Rail 1 (under recorded)
Moorhen 20 (under recorded)
Coot 192
Lapwing 40
Snipe 5 (under recorded)
Black-headed Gull 67
Common Gull 2
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1
Herring Gull 7
Great Black-backed Gull 5
Kingfisher 1.

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